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How will real-world factors influence the 2020 Emmys?

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    Riley Chow
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    #1203521057

    2020 has obviously been a very trying year so far that has already affected the Emmys overtly.  The Emmys of course always reflect current events to some degree, but I think what separates 2020 is the multitude of ways in which they can manifest.  It seems like things will go far beyond The Handmaid’s Tale being aided by anti-Trump sentiment for example.  The below points are not even to mention all of the shows that were shelved from contention to fill scheduling gaps or because they could not complete production.

    1. Quarantine

    It is easy to be disappointed by Emmy voters every year for not watching enough, but you have to remember that it is not anyone’s job to be an Emmy voter.  These people have real jobs—making television that they ironically might not have time to watch themselves, at least in a timely fashion.  It does not help that there are so many more networks these days and they all want to drop their shows in the spring.  At least the industry shuts down for a couple of weeks around Christmas every year that happens to coincide with voters getting Oscar screeners.  For the first time, everyone in the industry is stuck at home right now and they have been for months.  Not only did they watch the new season of Ozark immediately, but they also got all of their friends who had missed the first couple seasons to catch up and the latter group did so willingly.  Then either they were more open to suggestions or they ran out of content that they normally would have consumed eventually and they moved onto stuff that they never would have noticed any other year, so you suddenly have Unorthodox as a mainstream hit.

    We often come up against new shows like The Handmaid’s Tale that end up doing just as well as they could have with some branches, but then miss out with random branches that catch up by the guilds.  And then we have returning shows like Westworld for its second season where there was not time for voters to watch the second season in time, so they just based their votes off the first season.  Then there are shows like Schitt’s Creek that people would have nominated earlier, but nobody had seen it.  None of that applies this year.  Everyone will have seen everything that they had ever planned to see and then some, as they are even seeing stuff that was not on their agenda.  Anything that they have not seen is stuff that they were never going to watch with all the time in the world because that is what they have right now.  The exception is the final season of Schitt’s Creek because it is not on American Netflix yet.

    2. Coronavirus

    I talked about logistics above and am referring to the mood here.  People are overall worried about the future.  First of all, they might just die or people that they know might just die.  They cannot even be comforted by family or friends because it might be months since they have seen them.  And they might be worse off financially than they ever have been.  This obviously does not apply to the A-listers, but especially after the push in recent years to diversify the membership, so many academy members are up-and-coming and just working project-to-project.  Or Geoffrey Owens exposed how even if you have decades of credits that seem steady enough, that is actually not enough.

    This turned out to be the worst time for a passion project faithfully adapted from a bestselling work of fiction from 1998 without any political agenda to come out.  I certainly did not predict the response to I Know This Much is True of all things and it does not seem like HBO did either.  The coronavirus costing Mark Ruffalo an Emmy was not on my coronavirus bingo card.  There instead seems to be an appetite for escapism, be it in the form of tawdry fare like Tiger King, comfort food like Schitt’s Creek or even nostalgic pieces like The Last Dance.  I can think of one show that checks all three boxes, but might be undone by my next point:

    3. Calendar

    Not only do Emmy voters have more time in their day to watch television as mentioned above, but they also have more days to watch television because the academy pushed back voting to July.  People are really going to have time to watch everything now.  But I think a more subtle consequence of this extended timeline is that it kind of nullified the whole awards strategy of being the last thing out and thus seen before voting.  We know that shows from February do better at the Emmys than they do at the guilds and we know that shows from September do better at the guilds than they do at the Emmys.  We also know that the Oscars are constantly awarding films that do not stand the test of time.

    Shows that drop at the beginning of May might normally be the last shows that voters see before marking their ballots.  That is far from the case this year.  Not only is voting in July instead of June, but whereas voters might normally get around to shows from early May in early June (if that), they got to them in early May this year.  And then they watched a dozen other shows and we still have another month until voting.  It is bad enough that time has been so distorted during the lockdown that nobody knows how long it has been since anything has happened, but the time this year between late releases and voting actually is longer too, plus people’s memories are getting overwritten by all of the random shows that they have watched in the meantime.

    I swear that Space Force released too early and it literally came out on day 365/365 of eligibility.  It came out a week ago, everyone watched it immediately (as we see from the barrage of IMDb ratings) and nobody remembers it now.  It has only been a week!  Voters are going to see it on their ballot a month from now and are first of all going to be surprised by the reminder of its existence, then not going to be able to recall a thing about it.  Any brain space that might stored Space Force plot points will have been reallocated for shows like Little Fires Everywhere and Normal People that they had been hearing about for a while and finally got around to watching in June.

    4. Black Lives Matter

    This is not new to this year, but it is not just going to manifest this time through white liberal guilt.  There is actually an explicit call right now to support black artists.  Just as it has gone way beyond silently kneeling, the conversation when it comes to art and media has gone beyond lamenting a general lack of black nominees or whatnot.  Not only is there a broad sentiment to amplify black voices, but we are also now at the point where directives have gotten extremely specific.  Black squares tell you that what you can do to be better as an ally is watch 13th on Netflix today.  And with Netflix publicly displaying daily most-watched lists, we know that people are putting their money where their mouth is.  Other viral posts flatly name Issa Rae.  And anecdotally, I have never seen Insecure more in my Twitter feed than I did tonight.  It is not even the season finale (or premiere)!

    How are you adjusting your predictions based on the above?  Does anyone want to analyze what the lack of campaigning means for the game?  Not only are there no DVDs as predetermined, but billboards are either not being bought or not being seen and not only are people not getting schmoozed and seeing shows at events, but they are not even mingling at the associated cocktail receptions and recommending other titles to strangers. Or what about how the closure of movie theatres meant that Run the HBO series did not get overrun by the horror film of the same name by Sarah Paulson that was due out at the same time? And people were so desperate for a quality movie that they embraced Bad Education.

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    Eden
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    #1203521070

    Weirdly, I haven’t seen any buzz around Watchmen, despite its theme. People are sharing lists of stuff to watch and read, but no Watchmen.

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    lvigario
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    #1203521084

    I hope that this climate and the isolation bring diversity to the Emmys.
    Last year nominations were not good. Too many nominations in acting categories for the same shows: for instance Barry and Game of Thrones.
    I wanna see more shows getting recognized, more histories represented. I guess if a show is good, its good and if the performances are outstanding, they should be nominated… but let’s be honest 3-4 nominations for supporting actress/actor in a drama series for Game of Thrones? Straight-up lazy! I mean…

    FYC Emmys 2020:
    Sienna Miller - The Loudest Voice
    Anne Hathaway - Modern Love
    Zoë Kravitz - High Fidelity

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    forwardswill
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    #1203521100

    I’m glad this has been raised as a thread. Something I guess I’ve been intensely aware of but not yet acted on with my predictions is that this is the strangest Emmy season of our lifetime but all of our choices are being done like it is any old year. I mean you only have to scroll through the combined odds and see how little people think things will change from previous years. And does that make sense?

    Currently where I’m at is that the only thing I’m sure of in any major category is that Ozark is locked for every single contender. Beyond that, I honestly think things could any way. Like how many people have actually watched or cared about The Crown in this calendar year? We all consider that locked but that works on our normal logic of Emmy voters not watching enough so sticking to what they watched a few months ago.

    But then there’s also the thing of how many contenders have flopped in reception that should have taken advantage of their timing and been the shows that we could predict to do really well but haven’t. The likes of Westworld, Run and Killing Eve aired for weeks on end at the perfect time yet have somehow come out worse off than before they aired. So whilst it would be nice to move away from selecting shows that haven’t been in anyone’s consciousness for a while, it’s hard to do so when the shows that are offered up instead, especially in the Drama and Comedy categories, haven’t made any lasting impression either.

    Then there’s matter of campaigning. Networks have been restricted in what they’ve been able to do due to the virus naturally so haven’t been able to direct voters to shows in quite the way they could before. But they’ve still been sending out booklets which in an era of peak TV with people searching desperately for their next lockdown binge could prove just as effective as previous years. This presents the question FYC sites. We all kind of go off the buzz of the moment with what we know “people” generally are watching and talking about but what if many voters are just consuming their content on the free sites that are provided for them? For example, we talk about Schitt’s Creek not being available on Netflix for the final season but does that necessarily mean voters who have probably interchangeably used FYC sites for years will not seek out the episodes anyway so that they can watch the finale of a light-hearted show they love with their families.

    I also completely agree with the section about the types of content voters are going to want to watch in these depressing times. I know I myself am struggling at the moment with what to watch as I am faced with a watchlist that includes Westworld, Unorthodox and Elizabeth is Missing none of which are exactly the fun romp my mood is calling for. But something I’d like to add to this speculation about genre is whether voters are going to seek out new shows or whether they are going to double down on the shows they know they love. So where I have been constantly rewatching Schitt’s Creek and Will and Grace as mood lifters, will voters turn to stuff like Modern Family and Stranger Things that are both escapist and familiar. No one wants to be anymore dissatisfied in these times so I wonder if voters will take fewer risks on new content than they would have in previous years.

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    Luca
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    #1203521136

    For me it’s difficult to pick and choose with shows might benefit from everyone being at home and glued to their screens. On the one hand, you’d think people want to escape and watch stuff like Modern Family or Schitt’s Creek, but at the same time we’re hearing that darker shows like Ozark and The Handmaid’s Tale are among the most watched shows on their respective streaming services – so who really knows? I’m not holding early runs against any show for that exact reason, because it seems as though people have really had the time to catch up with a lot now.

    As for Black Lives Matter, I don’t know. I really don’t know. It’s also all too recent to be able to read into properly, but I’m not sure that’s going to change much. Voters mark off their ballots at home in private, so they’re going to vote for whoever the hell they want. Could it help people like Issa Rae, Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba or anyone actor of color who is at the cusp of a nomination? Maybe, but we can’t know for sure. I also feel very uncomfortable using it as an argument. As for Watchmen, I feel like its relevancy rose significantly – unfortunately. Does that mean more people will now tune in or vote for it? We can’t know. But it surely has to have some sort of impact, right? A show that could really benefit from this is Hollywood, as it could be that feel-good show that gives people hope atm.

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    wolfali
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    #1203521150

    With regards to Black Lives Matter I think we’re underestimating American Son. I originally dropped it from my predicted line-up for TV Movie but it has more relevance due to the situation and more and more people are discovering it because it is appearing on peoples watchlists in order to understand the situation in the States better.

    I don’t think it could sweep but I think it’s getting into TV Movie and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kerry Washington score double nominations in Lead Actress this year (especially considering that outside of Blanchett, King, Wever and maybe Witherspoon any of Washington x2, Dever, Haas, Edgar-Jones or Dockery could realistically get the last two slots).

    FYC Emmys : THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, SUCCESSION AND THE CROWN IN ALL CATEGORIES. Tony Shalhoub ("Maisel"), Cate Blanchett ("Mrs. America"), Matthew Macfadyen, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook ("Succession"), Tracey Ullman ("Mrs. America") and Louis Gossett Jr. ("Watchmen")

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    boss
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    #1203521152

    @thedemonhog I think you said it last year that so many program’s sole nomination were the program categories and all were coming from Netflix. I think voters continue to watch things from their Netflix account and familiar with its content most. Therefore, I expect Netflix shows to do better this time. It can once again be the most nominated network.

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    sofan
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    #1203521181

    I’m expecting escapist shows to have a better showing, especially in drama categories, I personally prefer things that could raise my spirits, I don’t need to see bleak stuff I have the news for that.

    Black Mirror was lucky they released the new season last year, cause otherwise no one would be here for the new season with the way the world is right now. This is why, among other reasons, I dropped The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld for example. Shows like Succession, The Morning Show, Ozark, Stranger Things, and Big Little Lies have more of a “fun” appeal. That is just an example and my prediction, doesn’t mean you have to agree with it or it has to be true.

    Anyway, due to the timing of the Black Lives Matter protests I expect to see a plethora of black nominees.

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    mafro987
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    #1203521183

    Weirdly, I haven’t seen any buzz around Watchmen, despite its theme. People are sharing lists of stuff to watch and read, but no Watchmen.

    I’ve seen plenty of articles about Watchmen over the last few days (for example this one from Decider). It’s not a Netflix show, and that platform is by far the most accessible, but I don’t think the lack of viral twitter posts denotes a lack of buzz. However, I do think it’s annoying that movies like The Help are getting referenced so much (when Watchmen is infinitely more sophisticated in its exploration of race).

    For Your Consideration:

    Best International Feature: Instinct (The Netherlands)
    Best Actress: Carice van Houten (Instinct)

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    hopelesstar
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    #1203521204

    With regards to Black Lives Matter I think we’re underestimating American Son. I originally dropped it from my predicted line-up for TV Movie but it has more relevance due to the situation and more and more people are discovering it because it is appearing on peoples watchlists in order to understand the situation in the States better. I don’t think it could sweep but I think it’s getting into TV Movie and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kerry Washington score double nominations in Lead Actress this year (especially considering that outside of Blanchett, King, Wever and maybe Witherspoon any of Washington x2, Dever, Haas, Edgar-Jones or Dockery could realistically get the last two slots).

    I thought about this aswell. I’ve seen numerous people, and Kerry Washington herself, talking about American Son.

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    Luca
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    #1203521207

    I have put American Son back in. Kerry’s promotion definitely swayed me. I don’t think she can get in, simply because I think she’s getting in for Little Fires, but I think the movie itself – despite its not-so-great reception – can definitely get in.

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    Gabarnes43
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    #1203521211

    PoC nominees I’m predicting

    Kerry Washington (L Actress)
    Viola Davis (D Actress)
    Cicely Tyson (D Guest Actress)
    Eddie Murphy (C Guest Actor)
    Sandra Oh (D Actress)
    Sterling K Brown (D Actor)
    Phylicia Rashad (D Guest Actress)
    Ron Cephas Jones (D Guest Actor)
    Regina King (L Actress)
    Tituss Burgess (L Supporting Actor)

    FYC 2020 EMMYS

    COMEDY- SCHITTS CREEK in all categories, Maya Rudolph, Eddie Murphy

    DRAMA- Killing Eve in all categories, HBC, Cicely Tyson, The Crown in directing

    LIMITED- UNBELIEVABLE, Normal People in writing and directing, Toni Collette, Tituss Burgess

    FYC OSCARS- Amy Adams

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    hopelesstar
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    #1203521213

    You should add Laverne Cox. She keeps coming back.

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    forwardswill
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    #1203521217

    I don’t think it could sweep but I think it’s getting into TV Movie and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kerry Washington score double nominations in Lead Actress this year (especially considering that outside of Blanchett, King, Wever and maybe Witherspoon any of Washington x2, Dever, Haas, Edgar-Jones or Dockery could realistically get the last two slots).

    I don’t think she can get in for both but, as I mentioned last week, it wouldn’t massively surprise me if she got in for just American Son. More likely though is that it just gets her more attention that pools into support for her in Little Fires Everywhere

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    wolfali
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    #1203521234

    I think in terms of PoC being nominated in Supporting Actress we could be underestimating Thandie Newton, Cynthia Erivo, Gugu-Mbatha Raw and Zoe Kravitz. I’m starting to think that voters who check of Streep and Dern won’t check off Kravitz unless it’s a conscious decision (if they’ve seen this season of BLL). Newton could get in but because Westworld doesn’t really seem to be that relevant in the conversation anymore I feel like she could be collateral damage to the show’s Emmy bomb. I have a gut feeling about Mbatha-Raw and Erivo slipping in.

    FYC Emmys : THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, SUCCESSION AND THE CROWN IN ALL CATEGORIES. Tony Shalhoub ("Maisel"), Cate Blanchett ("Mrs. America"), Matthew Macfadyen, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook ("Succession"), Tracey Ullman ("Mrs. America") and Louis Gossett Jr. ("Watchmen")

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